Can Sean Payton join another NFL team? The Saints still control his coaching future

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton v Philadelphia Eagles
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton v Philadelphia Eagles

For the last few days, it has been rumored that Saints head coach Sean Payton may be on his way out of New Orleans. On Tuesday afternoon, he made that news official when it was reported by several NFL insiders that the head coach had informed the team that he was, indeed, retiring.

Sean Payton has been the head coach of the New Orleans Saints since 2006, has a 161-97 record, making him the winningest coach in franchise history. With the retirement of quarterback Drew Brees last season, he entered the 2021 NFL season for the first time as the team's coach with a new starting quarterback.

Through all of the team's trials and tribulations this season, which included injuries acorss the board, the team still finished with a 9-8 record, although they missed a chance at the playoffs.

But, as the Saints enter the 2022 NFL season, they have a lot of questions that need to be answered and moves that need to be made. The Saints have the worst salary cap situation in the National Football League, entering already $74 million over the cap.

Although no official reason has been given for Payton's decision to leave the New Orleans Saints, he could have just decided that he didn't want to be part of the massive upcoming decisions that will need to be made.

Can Sean Payton become the HC of another NFL team?

The news of Sean Payton stepping away as the New Orleans Saints head coach brings to mind the many other vacant head coach positions. Could he go elsewhere this season or next? Simply put, no.

The veteran head coach has said that he may want to coach in the future but, for right now, is stepping away from the game and taking a much-needed break.

He is under contract with the New Orleans Saints until after the 2024 NFL season. If he decides that he wants to get back in the NFL as a head coach next season, the NFL team that he signs with would have to financially reimburse the New Orleans Saints.

So it wouldn't be a simple free agent signing like other head coaching openings in the league. There would need to be some negotiating with the Saints beforehand.

While the New Orleans Saints will need to address their now-vacant opening soon, they are not alone. Eight other NFL teams are already in the thick of interviewing candidates to be their next head coach.

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Edited by Windy Goodloe
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